Khadijah (Sue) Watson: Former Pastor, Missionary and Professor
The story of an American Christian missionary who accidentally discovered the truth of Islam and finally made the hard decision to embrace it as her own, despite personal losses and tribulations.
“What happened to you?!!” This was usually the first reaction I encountered when my former classmates, friends and co-pastors met me after I embraced Islam. I suppose I shouldn’t blame them; I was a highly unlikely person to change religions. Formerly, I was a professor, pastor, church planner, missionary, and a radical fundamentalist.
I had just graduated with my Master’s Degree in Divinity from an elite seminary five months before. It was after that when I met a lady who had worked in Saudi Arabia and embraced Islam. Of course, I asked her about the treatment of women in Islam. I was shocked at her answer – it wasn’t what I expected. So I proceeded to ask other questions relating to Allah and Muhammad (saws). She promised to take me to an Islamic Center where they would be better able to answer my questions.
Being prayed up (meaning, having asked Jesus for protection against demon spirits, since what we had been taught about Islam is that it is a demonic and satanic religion), I accompanied her to the Center. Having taught Evangelism, I was quite shocked at their approach; it was direct and straightforward. No intimidation, no harassment, no psychological manipulation, no subliminal influence! None of this, “Let’s have a Qur’anic study in your house” (like a counterpart of Bible-study).
I couldn’t believe it. They simply gave me some books and told me if I had questions they were available in the office to answer them. That night, I read all of the books they gave. It was the first time I had ever read a book about Islam written by a Muslim. We had always studied books about Islam written by Christians.
The next day, I spent three hours at the office asking questions. This went on every day for a week, by which time I had read twelve books and found out why Muslims are the hardest people in the world to convert to Christianity. Why? Because there is nothing in it to offer them!! In Islam, they have a relationship with God, forgiveness of sins, and the means to salvation in the eternal life.
Naturally, my first question centered on the deity, Allah. Who is this ‘Allah’ that Muslims worship? We had been taught, as Christians, that it was a false god. In fact, He is the Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God. The One and Only, without partners or equals.
It is interesting to note that during the first three hundred years of the Church, bishops were teaching, as Muslims believe, that Jesus (peace be upon him) was a prophet and teacher. It was only after the conversion of Emperor Constantine that the doctrine of Trinity was introduced. A convert to Christianity who knew little of his religion, Constantine introduced a paganistic concept that goes back to Babylonian times. The word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible in any of its many translations, nor is it found in the original Greek or Hebrew.
My other important question centered on Muhammad (saws). Who was he? I found out that Muslims do not pray to him like Christians pray to Jesus. He is not an intermediary; in fact, it is forbidden to pray to him. He is but a prophet and messenger, the final prophet from God, and there has been no prophet after him. His message is for all mankind, as opposed to the message of Jesus or Moses which was for the Jews: “Hear O Israel, ‘The Lord, your God, is one God, and you shall have no other gods before Me.'”
Because prayer was a very important part of my Christian life, I was interested and curious to know how Muslims prayed. As Christians, we were as ignorant of this aspect of Islam as well as many others. We thought that Muslims were bowing to the Ka’bah (in Makkah) and that it was their god. Again, I was shocked to learn that the manner of prayer was prescribed by God, Himself. Ablution preceding prayer was ordained by Him. The words of prayer are those of praise and exaltation directed by Him.
At the end of that week, after having spent eight years on formal theological studies, I knew cognitively that Islam was true. But I did not embrace it at that time because I did not feel it in my heart. I continued to pray, to read the Bible and to attend lectures at the Islamic center. I was earnestly asking and seeking God’s direction. I felt it was not easy to change my religion. I did not want to lose my salvation if there was salvation to lose.
I continued to be surprised and amazed at what I was learning because it was not what I was taught about Islam. In my Master’s level, the professor I had was respected as an authority on Islam, yet his teaching of it was generally full of misunderstanding. He, and many Christians like him, are sincere, but they are sincerely wrong.
Two months later, after having again prayed seeking God’s direction, I felt something drop into my being! I sat up, and it was the first time I was to use the name of Allah. I said, “Allah, I believe You are the one and only true God.” Immediately peace descended upon me, and from that day, I have never regretted my decision. However, it did not come without trial. I was fired from my teaching job; ostracized by my former classmates, professors and co-pastors; disowned by my husband’s family; misunderstood by my adult children; and made a suspicion by my own government. Without the faith that enables man to stand up to satanic forces, I would not have been able to withstand all of this.
I am ever so grateful to Allah that I am a Muslim, and pray that I may live and die a Muslim.
“Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.’” (Surah al-An’am, 6:162-163).